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Input sought on vision for Lower Athabasca Region

Initiative: 
Lower Athabasca Regional Plan
Deadline: 
8 Oct 2010 (All day)

Feedback on advice from Regional Advisory Council

Edmonton... Recommendations from an advisory council for northeast Alberta, including the oil sands, are presented to the public for input now and through to early October.

The Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council presented its advice as a vision document on which government will seek public comment before developing a draft regional plan for the area.

“The vision document provides advice on economic, environmental and community needs in Lower Athabasca,” said Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, responsible for implementing the Land-use Framework. “With Albertans’ input on the vision, government can develop a regional plan that creates the balance Albertans are looking for. It is essential to set the right direction for conservation and development for Albertans, for the environment, and for a world that is watching how Alberta develops its natural resources.”

Advice to the Government of Alberta Regarding a Vision for the Lower Athabasca Region provides recommendations on economic growth, land conservation, air and water thresholds, and human development needs in the region; as guided by a terms of reference. Recognizing the oil sands are a primary industry for this region, the terms of reference directed the council to consider options for addressing industry growth while also looking to increase conservation areas, and develop options for enhanced recreation and tourism.

The vision is based on 18 months of discussion and more than 100 stakeholder submissions. It also reflects the broad expertise of the Regional Advisory Council, whose 17 members included representatives from agriculture, municipalities, environmental interests, energy, forestry, First Nations and Métis.

The vision document and an on-line feedback workbook are available now at landuse.alberta.ca. The online survey closes on October 8, 2010. Public consultation is planned for September, to be held in Lower Athabasca and nearby communities of neighbouring regions, plus Edmonton and Calgary.

Government will consider the vision document and public feedback to develop a draft regional plan for further public review. Under Alberta’s Land-use Framework, government will develop a regional plan for each of seven regions in the province, to better balance economic, environmental and community objectives. The framework identified a regional plan for the Lower Athabasca area, which includes the majority of current oil sands developments, as a priority.

The Government of Alberta has a clear plan for a strong economic recovery. The Way Forward includes a commitment to ensuring that Alberta is competitive and continues to attract investment to provide jobs and prosperity. Regional plans under the Land-use Framework will support responsible development while meeting Albertans’ needs for conservation and a high quality of life.

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Backgrounders: Summary of advice to government, Consultation schedule, Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council

The vision document, workbook and map are online at www.landuse.alberta.ca

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Neal Watson
Communications
Sustainable Resource Development
780-427-8636

Deleen Schoff
Communications
Land Use Secretariat
780-644-7972

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.


Backgrounder

August 26, 2010

Summary of advice to government from the Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council

The advisory council developed Advice to the Government of Alberta Regarding a Vision for the Lower Athabasca Region over 18 months of:

  • Reviewing policy, publications and research
  • Meeting with policy and regional experts, stakeholders, Aboriginal communities
  • Assessing more than 100 stakeholder submissions

Government provided terms of reference that asked for advice in four key areas:

  • Economic growth and development
  • Land conservation objectives
  • Regional air and water thresholds
  • Human development considerations
Terms of Reference Highlights
Regional Advisory Council Advice
Economic growth and development
  • Consider three oil sands development scenarios within desired cumulative environmental thresholds
  • resource development the primary, not only, priority
  • explore strategies to address potential timber shortfalls from oil sands expansion
  • Suggested five new land-use classifications to guide land-use decisions;
  • agriculture
  • conservation
  • mixed-use resource
  • population centres
  • recreation and tourism
  • Minimize the land disturbance of industry through better coordination
  • More aggressive reclamation and reforestation
  • Mitigate timber shortfalls through strategies that include enhanced forest management
  • Plan infrastructure for anticipated growth
Land conservation objectives
  • Identify lands to meet conservation objectives of 20 per cent of the region, considering areas;
  • with little or no industrial activity
  • that support Aboriginal traditional use
  • that represent biodiversity in the region
  • that are of sufficient size and connectivity
  • Feasibility of conserving more than 20 per cent while achieving economic objectives
  • Identified landscapes that contribute to the 20 per cent conservation objective
  • Identified landscapes to contribute to the
    greater than 20 per cent conservation objective
  • Use management plans in conservation areas to optimize ecosystem integrity

 

Terms of Reference Highlights
Regional Advisory Council Advice
Regional air and water thresholds
  • Establish regional air and water thresholds for;
  • surface and groundwater
  • nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide
  • Develop management plans for NOX and SO2 within six months of approving the regional plan, that include triggers, thresholds and critical loads
  • Improve regional monitoring and reporting
Human development considerations
  • Options for tourism development with emphasis on Lakeland Country
  • Options for recreational development, including activities on public land
  • General location of major transportation and utility corridors and planning considerations for specific locations
  • Economic development impact on population growth and labour needs
  • Impact on Aboriginal communities, including treaty and constitutional rights
  • Identified potential new recreation and tourism lands
  • Better management of public access to public lands
  • Suggested general locations of corridors
  • Plan proactively for population growth as a result of new resource developments
  • Develop formal roles and responsibilities for Aboriginal peoples in land-use planning and to achieve regional objectives

The Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council’s Advice to the Government of Alberta Regarding a Vision for the Lower Athabasca Region is available online at www.landuse.alberta.ca

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Neal Watson
Communications
Sustainable Resource Development
780-427-8636

Deleen Schoff
Communications
Land Use Secretariat
780-644-7972

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.



 

August 26, 2010

Consultation schedule on Advice to the Government of Alberta Regarding a Vision for the Lower Athabasca Region

Bonnyville
Wednesday, September 8
Centennial Centre, VIP Suite
4313-50 Avenue

Cold Lake
Thursday, September 9
Energy Centre, Lounge
7825-51 Street

Fort Smith
Monday, September 13
Pelican Rapids Inn, Blue Room
152 McDougall Road

Fort Chipewyan
Tuesday, September 14
Mamawi Community Hall
128 Cardinal Drive

Fort McMurray
Wednesday, September 15
Sawridge Hotel and Conference Centre
530 MacKenzie Boulevard

Lac La Biche
Thursday, September 16
Portage College, Main Campus
9531-94 Avenue

Elk Point
Monday, September 20
Seniors Recreation Centre
5010-48 Street

St. Paul
Tuesday, September 21
Recreation Centre, Multi-purpose Room
4802-53 Street

Fort McMurray
Thursday, September 23
Suncor Community Centre
Miskanaw Ballroom South
151 MacDonald Drive

Athabasca
Monday, September 27
Regional Multiplex, Upper Lounge
2 University Drive

Edmonton
Tuesday, September 28
Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre
11834 Kingsway Avenue

Calgary
Wednesday, September 29
Glenmore Inn
2720 Glenmore Trail SE

Note: All sessions run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The vision advice document and workbook are online at www.landuse.alberta.ca/

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Neal Watson
Communications
Sustainable Resource Development
780-427-8636

Deleen Schoff
Communications
Land Use Secretariat
780-644-7972

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

 



 

August 26, 2010

Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council

The Lower Athabasca Regional Advisory Council was established on December 19, 2008, with members from the Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 First Nations named on June 1, 2009. The Regional Advisory Council has fulfilled its mandate

Statement of Purpose (from Team Charter)
The Regional Advisory Council (RAC), established under the Land-use Framework, will provide strategic advice and recommendations to the Government of Alberta on the development of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan (LARP), operating within the draft terms of reference approved by the Government of Alberta.

Membership
Chair: Heather Kennedy, former Assistant Deputy Minister, Oil Sands Secretariat
Vice-Chair: Hildy Hanson, Coordinator, Workforce Training Keyano College, Fort McMurray

Members
Melissa Blake, Mayor, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Fort McMurray
Eric Butterworth, Manager, Boreal and Territorial Operations, Western Boreal Forest Program, Ducks Unlimited Canada
Archie Collins, Chairman, Elizabeth Métis Settlement, Cold Lake
R. Lanny Coulson, Alberta/NWT Region Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Howard Ewashko, President, Northlands Forest Products Ltd., Fort McMurray
Peter Koning, Senior Environmental and Regulatory Coordinator - Oil Sands, ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp. Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Calgary
Clarence Makowecki, Agriculture/Industry Independent Consultant, St. Paul
Douglas Parrish, General Manager of Public Services, City of Cold Lake
Rick Pawluk, Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., Calgary
Don Pope, Integration Land Management Specialist, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, Boyle
Cecilia Quist, Deputy Mayor, Lac La Biche County, Lac La Biche
Glen Semenchuk, Executive Director, Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray
Marc G. Stevenson, Aboriginal Policy and Research Consultant, Edmonton, holding the seat for Treaty 6
Dave Theriault, COO and Vice President of Operations, Laricina Energy Ltd., Calgary
Roy Vermillion, CEO, Athabasca Tribal Council, Fort McMurray, holding the seat for Treaty 8

 

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Neal Watson
Communications
Sustainable Resource Development
780-427-8636

Deleen Schoff
Communications
Land Use Secretariat
780-644-7972

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Posted August 27, 2010 by AEN

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